Part 2: Follow Up With Systems Expert, Nic Peterson | #038
Entrepreneurs in the bootstrapped niche tend to burn their businesses to the ground because they’re buried in fulfillment and doing something they realized they hate. Delving deeper into the problem is Nic Peterson, systems experts, relationship builder, master networker, and the co-founder of Mastery Mode. He provides solutions by talking about his method for building systems and thought processes, keeping entrepreneurs safe within their bumpers of smart decision-making. He also tackles strategic partnerships, bringing to light how people can spot and create opportunities together.
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Nic and I have recently combined our superpowers and are helping entrepreneurs create and scale their systems and operations while also crafting and defining their marketing messaging. If you are interested in joining our elite group, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Part 2: Follow Up With Systems Expert, Nic Peterson
You are in for an incredible episode. I hopped off the horn with my guest, Nic Peterson. This is the second time that I’ve had Nic on the show. It was so good to have him in the first episode. I knew I had to get him here for a second episode. Nic and his business partner, Dan, are specialists in helping entrepreneurs build systems that scale. There’s a huge problem in the entrepreneurial niche right now, particularly with the bootstrap niche. The bootstrap entrepreneurs who build things that get to $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 or $50,000 per month, they want to burn it to the ground because they’re buried in fulfillment and they built something that they hate. I’ve talked to Nic a bunch. I’m working on some projects with him. I wanted him to hop on and talk about his method for building systems and thought processes for building the bumpers to allow entrepreneurs to make smart decisions. At the end of the episode, we pivoted to talk about how people spot and create opportunities through this idea of strategic partnerships. This was a fantastic episode. Without further ado, let’s jump into this episode.
You’re in for an amazing episode. I have the one and only Nic Peterson, Chief Nap Officer for high-level entrepreneurs and we’re going to be talking all things systems, all things operations and all things scaling. Nic, welcome to the show.
I’m glad to be here, again.
You were so good that I had to have you on the second time. We’ve known each other for a while in this digital entrepreneurship space and we hooked up out in Lewiston. We’re talking all things systems now, all things scaling. Give my audience a gist of what it is that you do for entrepreneurs and companies.
For this product, if we’re talking about systems which is the most important thing that nobody ever learned how to do, it’s looking not at your business, your revenue and all those things. Those are important. We all know that sales is the lifeblood of business. Joel, you have The Webinar Agency. Nobody asks you, “What do you want your life to look like before we build this business?” The result was what happened with The Webinar Agency. If you can market and you can sell, which a lot of us entrepreneurs have that skill or serial, which open businesses so it can be easy to sell stuff, I’m going to ask, “What do you want your life to look like?” I then build the systems in your business to facilitate that. When I say systems, automatically people feel like operating procedures and I say, “I have operating procedures. Here’s my list of stuff that I do every day.” The operating procedures are part of your business systems. I give people decision making parameters. If you want your life to look like this, we have to set up these bumpers. You can’t make decisions outside of those bumpers because your life won’t look like that and maybe you decide, “I don’t want my life to look like this.” We reverse engineer the life you want, which for me is I want to nap all day, read and write. Then I want to make this much money, which is a significant amount of money. We build the systems with that in mind and all decisions are made within those parameters.
Give me an example. Your ideal customers are selling. They validate their business model and they’re making sales. What is happening that is causing them to start up a conversation with you or with your business partner? What’s going on in their business that is causing them to reach out?
It’s going to be one of three things. If you are a warm audience, usually you say, “How do I live my life like you if I can do whatever I want?” People that are in pain are going to be somebody that has your skill set, “I can market. I can sell but I’ve already had a business that does $100,000, $200,000, $300,000, $400,000 a month and it was horrible. My wife was mad at me. I never saw my daughter. I never saw my kids. I didn’t want to make any more sales and all this money was coming in. Even all the money was coming in, it still broke down.” They were coming to me saying, “How did you reach these revenue numbers without burning down your life?” The third is going to be somebody that is currently in that fire, ready to burn it down. They are anywhere usually between $70,000 a month and $600,000 a month where they’re publicly saying, “Look at these awesome revenue numbers. My life is so awesome.” One, there’s that incongruence because they hate their life. They wake up in the morning and say, “I’ve got to do it again.” Two, they watch people like me nap all day and wander into the gym and dink around. There are people who have already burned something down and they have this itch to start something again, but they think they know what’s going to happen. It’s people that are on fire right now. Those are the two that we can help. We can either build your business. You tell us how much fulfillment you want to do, then we’ll build it that way. If you’re in the fire, we’ll pull you out pretty quick.
You’re the entrepreneurial firefighter. You are the rescuer. You’re the EMTs. The chief nap officer isn’t hitting well right now, it’s very catchy. Maybe that will work for your organic audience, but you mentioned that it’s not resonating to cold traffic.
The revenue numbers give, plus the hour’s work. I’ve had people tell me it’s the pie in the sky. Is that realistic? It may be the chief nap officer and it may be the fact that people are not aware that it’s possible.
I want to talk about that, being aware that it’s possible. I want to elaborate on that because there’s going to be natural skepticism. When we talk about this, I want my audience to understand what is possible. My audience is going to be in one of two buckets. They’re reading this blog and they’re just starting out. They might be thinking, “It’d be nice to make $1,000 a month.” They’ve validated and they’re in that early stage where it’s like, “I’ve made $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 a month before but I’m a service provider,” and that comes and goes. I’m not asking for your secret sauce but take me through that conceptual stages of developing a system.
I’ll give our audience some background. I hired a Chief Operating Officer and she was fantastic. She was super smart. We were scaling and building all the systems and procedures. What we were building at that time was something that I didn’t want. We were offering the service that I didn’t want, so we killed it. How do you go through and start talking to people? I’m sure this is probably the onboarding procedure, but what are the types of questions that you have to ask to start to build out these systems? What are they doing wrong and how do you fix it?
It comes down to what you want. I refuse to help you build something that is not going to be what you want. I’ll do twenty-hour days for now because I will. The problem is you have to build it so that you could step out anytime and we don’t do that. The biggest problem is it’s not that people don’t want to work. It’s helping them understand, “I know that you want to work but if we put these bumpers up and not work and you stay in between those bumpers, it’s all straight line.” You have to identify like, “Do you want to work twenty-hour days?” Some people do but they want to work on what they want to work on when they want to work on it. There are other people who don’t want to work. We have to start exploring, “Does this service or product even make sense?” That’s a legitimate question. I want to do a plan where I can do 90-minute weeks. We have somebody doing that and they’re going to do ridiculous numbers. It makes sense given the product that they’re selling. Can everybody do $500,000 a month in 90 minutes a week? No.
I want to address that skepticism. How many of these clients that you bring on do you have to work on their offers?
We don’t. There are a very few that come in and I like them a lot. They’ve spent so much money on other mentorship programs. I’d say, “Let’s come in and we’ll work your offer.” We might change the deliverables a little bit. We’d say, “What about your business makes you want to burn it down?” They say, “This effing Voxer.” We say, “We’re going to build a system that does not include access to you via Voxer.”
Voxer is another messaging app that, in our space, is a very common deliverable. You’re selling some high-level consulting or mastermind. They think that they have to give direct access to them, so they give access to some messenger platform like Voxer and it ends up sucking your time.
Maybe we remove some of the one-on-one access. For your peace of mind, you’re not comfortable selling it for $50,000 so you sell it for $30,000. That’s fine. You might grow a little bit slower, but you’ve got to stay in those bumpers or you’re going to hate your life and burn it down anyway. We whittled down to, “What are your non-negotiable?” This is what’s left. It’s usually enough to be a killer program anyway. We work the offer a little bit but usually here’s an agency, Ryan, who’s doing ten, twelve-hour a day or whatever. After a week and a half, he was down to four hours a day and he didn’t change his offer. He just plugged all these holes and made his operating procedures efficient. He built a task-oriented system for his thought process. Instead of kicking things around and stressing about it, it was very clear red light, green light. You’re building all these things that you don’t know you do that are sucking your bandwidth and building a system around it. We don’t change your offer much. Almost everybody we’ve worked with, like Tobin, it’s going to take longer to pull him out of fulfillment because so much of it he’s kept in here for so long. We systematically had to pull it out of his head and build a system for it. Without a doubt, the earlier you start installing these things, the better. You can scale your business to the moon with zero hiccups if you installed them the day you make your first sale.
There are two different types of avatars that you can help. One is somebody who’s in the fire and the next one is that successful business owner who knows what it takes to create offers. They can sell and be like, “Let’s start with the system there.” You mentioned something that is important and I want to dive deeper into that. You said, “What are your non-negotiables?” I have to imagine that that’s got to be the starting point. When you talk to somebody who becomes a client and they’re like, “Nic, I believe in what you do. I’m ready to get my time back, to get my sanity back but I have no idea how to start.” In my mind, I’m like, “What are you going to tell me to do? Get into Asana and build out the SOPs?” Talk to me a little bit more about that. What are some examples of non-negotiables?
That’s is the thing that is hardest for entrepreneurs. There are non-negotiables. One, what do you want to do forever? Don’t think, “I’ll do anything for the next three weeks.” It’s very similar to my old nutrition company. What are your non-negotiables? “I want to go on a date night with my wife every Friday night.” If we build you a plan that doesn’t allow that, it’s either going to make you miserable or fall apart. That’s a non-negotiable. I want to make sure I never miss my kid’s baseball game. I do not want my clients to Voxer me or text me and demand immediate responses. Maybe this is your third or fourth business and there’s a huge potential, but you have other stuff going on. I don’t want to do more than 90 minutes a week. The best I can do is a 90-minute live call every week. When we say non-negotiables, we mean what can you do forever? If you can’t do it forever, that means it’s going to break or when that point comes when you don’t want to do it anymore, you’re going to be miserable.
The non-negotiable is how many hours you’re going to work, the kind of interaction you want with your employees, the kind of interaction you want with your clients, the kind of interaction you want between you, your clients and your employees. What are you willing to do? What are you not willing to do? I’ll give you an example. When Dan and I built this business, we both said we’ll do anything. Everything had to be built so that our non-negotiables were kept in place. For me, it’s zero fulfillment because I don’t do any fulfillment. He just had a baby. He wants to retire his life and that kind of stuff. We need to make this much money. Dan, being the COO, we want to run the company three hours a week or less preferably on Monday. We didn’t shoot to $700,000 a month in three months because it would have broken all our systems. We set our non-negotiables. I say, “Dan, I’m going to Joel Erway’s event. Here’s the link. Pay for it.” It was $5,000, $4,000. He’s like, “We’ve got to collect $11,000 before I pay for that. I’ll go to the bank.” I’m like, “We’ve got money. What do you mean?” This is what entrepreneurs do. “There’s money, I’m going to buy this.” When it goes into our system, that is how we make decisions so that I don’t have fulfillment. We hit our revenue goals and he works these three hours a week on Monday. If I start spending money outside of that system, then I’ve got to do more fulfillment or he’s got to do more fulfillment. All of our decisions are made based on these non-negotiables we established in the beginning.
It makes sense conceptually but what is the system to this system? You develop something that’s red light, green light for decisions, like, “Yes, you can do that. No you can’t do that.” What is the thought process of developing that? In my mind, it’s got to be all checks and balances. How do you develop something that allows that to happen for an entrepreneur? Where does it all come from? What is the guiding light to saying, “With all the systems that I’ve built for this company, these are the bumpers?” How do you develop bumpers within the bumpers? I’m not a systems person so this is still hard to conceptualize.
I’m more on the visionary side and Dan is an integrator and a numbers guy. He’ll build everything with numbers. I’ll step in and have conversations about how to fudge the numbers. Instead of red light, green light, a lot of times if you want to spend $5,000, you’ve got to collect $11,000. Then what the entrepreneur has to do is feel the stress he’s putting on the business. For example, Tobin and Martina, we built the communication system between them. The way that Tobin has to communicate about business is very structured which is not how his brain works, he’s like me. He has to feel the pain of what he’s asking Martina to do. Most of the time when that happens, we say, “It’s not that important.” We prevented a fire where we would have started one. A lot of this is not straightforward red light, green light but there’s a level of discernment. This is the path that we sat down and built. If you want to go outside that path, put the steps in this form so that she can do it. Then he’ll go, “It’s not that important. This is a crazy idea that I had.” It’s the same with me spending money. If Dan says, “You’ve got to collect $11,000,” I say, “This event’s worth it.” I went out and I collected $11,000. I very well could have said, “Never mind. I just wanted to spend money because I had it.” It’s foreseeing the entrepreneur because your business is not you.
You need to feel the stress you’re putting on your business if you want the business to be healthy. A lot of the systems are built so you understand what you’re asking your employees or your contractors to do. That all makes sense for us up here. My whole life until I had Dan, I didn’t even know how to deal with it. I would be like, “Brandon, do this, this and this. It’s super easy.” Somebody else in the office would be like, “I don’t think you know what you just asked him to do. That’s going to take weeks.” I’m like, “No, he’s just doing it by the day.” It becomes natural for me and I have it up here. When you have to list out steps and give people the tools to succeed because the system is how we interact with each other as well, 99.9% of those ideas that would have started fires, we put on a do-it-later list. It’s helping you understand the stress you’re putting on your business by the decisions you make. We don’t know that. We just sell stuff. If we sell enough, we assume that these problems will go away or we could pay somebody to fix them.
You said something that I want to highlight. You said, “Force the entrepreneur to feel the stress and pain of their decision.” It’s the Pavlovian Law. You get them to feel the pain to change their habits. It’s like you shock them. I’m only thinking of Pavlov’s Law where they did the shock collar test for habit training. That’s what you’re telling. It all comes down to changing your habits from a root cause, from a root description of how you build these systems. You have to change the habits of the person who is controlling it, which is the entrepreneur. If they’ve gone through and they built a business that turned into a dumpster fire that was generating $100,000 a month but with a very little profit and they were pulling their hair out, if they want to build another business that can go way past $100,000 a month, it’s almost a gift to get them to see where they light these invisible matches. Where did they dump the gasoline on that match which they can’t see? What are those match strikes? Where are those lighters that they were lighting all over the place? They were starting these fires inside of their company, but they couldn’t see it. The way that you get them to see it is to feel the pain of having to make decisions based on these bumpers. Is that an accurate description?
Especially as visionaries, we don’t understand what we’re asking people to do. Understand this like somebody said, “Let me fix this,” and I said, “No, because I need this chaos and I need to yell at my employees. That’s what I need to do.” Don’t build systems then. You have to have the system because the natural reaction is you go in and then you’re told you have to follow this process to give directions, but you’re like, “I own this thing.” “Then go in and start fires.” You have to understand, “What am I getting in this business for? What do I want my life to look like?” It sucks when you’re told you can’t do stuff in your own company, but that is because as an entrepreneur, your brain works a million miles an hour. You have to give the company an opportunity to catch up for it to be healthy and sustainable. The systems sometimes are like, “Red light, green light.” Sometimes they’re bad decisions. You have to feel the pain of what you’re asking other people to do and then you start making a lot better decisions for your business and for your employees.
That’s what you and Dan do now. You’re building these systems so that these entrepreneurs can scale to the moon. It’s unlimited scaleability without killing yourself in fulfillment. It’s taking the entrepreneur out of fulfillment. It’s a highly valuable offer that you have. Where did this develop? How did this develop into what it is? I want to rewind now and take us to this path of how we got to where you are now.
I have diverse interests. The entrepreneur in me is I just learn stuff and I want to teach it. Then people started to give me money. I was like, “I’m bored. I want to learn something else.” The first business was a gym. I wanted to learn how to shape my body and I started making a ton of money. I went and learned sales and marketing, so I wasn’t broke anymore. We were pretty much at capacity all the time. I have the ability to figure things out and my diverse interests, so I was like, “I’m so bored.” I was able to leverage myself out good enough. I was making good money good enough. I got into the nutrition thing with Dr. Kashi. It was the same deal. We even went deeper in marketing and sales so that we could do it nationally instead of locally online. It was a whole different ballgame. I learned internet marketing for the nutrition company. It’s the same thing, I was able to leverage myself out pretty quick. In both companies, there was always this dark cloud of like, “Something’s going to break.” When something does break, you have to dive back in. There are no real decision-making parameters. It’s generating a ton of revenue and I can leverage myself out. That’s where I was at when I moved to Nashville.
A great marketer, great salespeople said, “You leverage yourself out of business. I’ve never seen anything like it. If we partner with other businesses, can you get them out of fulfillment?” I said, “I could try. Right now, it’s more a tacit implicit thing but I could figure it out.” I started like, “I’m going to build the system.” Then I connected with Dan. He said, “I want to do the same thing. I’d love to do it with you because I do Facebook Live and I do organic stuff.” At this point, I still have the gym. I still have RD. I’m making money off both, not nearly as much as I should have given the revenue numbers. I leveraged out of both completely. I was like, “I’ve just got these two dark clouds that I don’t know what to do with.” He was like, “Let’s make RD salable.” I said, “Nobody’s ever going to buy that.” It is held together because when we need money, I go crazy. I go live, and I send emails. He said, “No, let me talk to you guys.” This is what you talk about with The Million-Dollar Day. This one was when I sat down with Dan. I’m like, “Whatever. I’m embarrassed to even show him the inside of RD.” He sits down and plugs one hole, plugs another, plugs another, builds an org chart. He goes, “Where are you on the org chart?” I go, “Right here.” He said, “Where do you not want to be?” “Right there. Leverage me out.” He found a whole bunch of profit that was floating around.
It was that new opportunity in my eyes. I was like, “Do you know what I can do with this information?” That was when I was like, “I can leverage myself out and generate a ton of money and do okay. There is always that, “My business is on fire and I’m going to not sleep well at night.” Dan was a doctor. He’s super focused. He plugged the hole, plugged another hole, and plugged another hole. He built this system, built this process and got me out completely. He found in a day $80,000 profit for the year. I was like, “What have I been doing my whole life?” I realized that’s what most entrepreneurs are doing. For those of you wondering, I’ll tell you where to find $80,000 profit. Look at your employees or their W-2 or 1099. Make sure you’re paying them right. Go through your bank statements. Look for any redundant software like, “Why do I have ActiveCampaign, MailChimp and Infusionsoft?” We open stuff and if we find what works, then we forget it’s out there. Cut it all out. Condense all your redundant software, downgrade your Zoom account, anything you do not use and swap your employees and W2 to 1099 if they should be 1099. That was $80,000. I sold RD.
How long did that take?
It was six weeks, but in fairness, me and Dr. Kashi are not normal people. Dan was like I’ve never seen anybody. Every week we meet with people and consult with them. We skipped all that. We just took the training and said, “Let’s get it over with.” If you buckle down, you can turn a business on fire into a saleable asset in six weeks. It has to be your sole focus but it’s doable.
Is he the one who sold you on partnering together? He saw the opportunity with RD. I’m missing that link. How did you guys meet and how did you start that discussion of, “Let me look inside of RD.”
We met at the mastermind. He joined RD and then I paid the agency he owned to run our RD ads. We were always in contact. We had a conversation one day. Most people in all the mastermind I’m in have a pretty direct line and just call me to BS our stuff. Dan didn’t love his future relying on Facebook Ads. He said, “If anybody can figure out how to build systems and get out, it’s you,” and he did it in no time. He sold his agency and then gave me a call. He said, “This is the next thing I’m doing. It looks like you’re going that way. Is there any interest in doing it together?” The answer is yes because I have entrepreneurial ADD as bad as anybody. Based on what I saw him do to his agency and RD in every subsequent business sense, I was at the point where I don’t think I would launch anything without Dan. It would be silly to do that. It’s a good partnership. It worked out well. We were both at the same place at the same time. We were both agreeable enough that we want to make enough to be happy. Neither one of us is super greedy in any way. It was like, “Let’s make enough to be happy and to help people.”
I want to talk about the opportunity through partnership. The whole theme of this podcast is how to spot and create an opportunity for entrepreneurs. I’ve done partnerships before and I’ve had some partnerships go bad. Some partnerships go great, doing revenue shares that go well and some don’t. I definitely think it’s something that people should explore in any stage of their business. Jay Abraham talks about strategic partnerships and being able to grow your business. He talks about joint ventures and the whole nine yards. It’s something that is extremely powerful. I’m not the most well-versed in terms of different types of partnerships.
I learned this phrase, “Always wear green glasses.” I learned this phrase, “Entrepreneurs have a great tendency to be the visionaries.” What they should focus on or what they need to be seeing the world as is if you’re looking through your regular set of eyes, you see what you’re used to. If you put on a shade of green glasses, you start to see opportunities everywhere. Green refers to money. With the right situation, partnerships are a fascinating way for people to grow faster than they ever thought imaginable. What do you think about the idea of strategic partnerships? This was how you met Dan? Have you done partnerships before?
Yes, but in every wrong way possible and that’s the trick. I would prefer my only business to be strategic partnerships. I get more fulfillment out of that. It satisfies my diverse interests if I have multiple partners. If you do it right, that provides the highest quality of life. It’s not infinitely scalable in a sense you’re going to have a billion partners but strategically, if your partners are scalable, then it is infinitely scalable in terms of money. The businesses themselves should be infinitely scalable or close to it. Partnership is hard and it is hard to find good partners. That’s the difficult thing. It’s like anything else. You might fail a few times and that’s okay. I love the idea of a strategic partnership and there’s a good reason why one of the brightest business people on the planet, Jay Abraham, is always talking about strategic partnerships. If you can pull it off, it provides the highest leverage, most opportunity, opens new doors and it gives you the highest quality of life as long as the partnership is set up appropriately.
Part of what I’ve been doing of just studying and analyzing is personally, I have evolved in the world of business and entrepreneurship in the world of solopreneurs, bootstrap entrepreneurs and direct response marketing. We think that group thinks totally different like night and day difference between venture-backed startups. The tech world, launching SAS companies where they have two, three, four partners and they’re funded by investors. I’ve been studying more that side. Knowing what I know about bootstrapping and I still love bootstrapped entrepreneurs, but you talked to a bootstrapped entrepreneur and $100,000 a month and it sounds fantastic. You’ll get so many people to raise their hand at $100,000 a month saying, “I’m interested in hitting that level.” You throw that message out to the world of venture-backed startups and it will fall on deaf ears because their mind is totally different.
When we talk about partnerships, I immediately think about two, three or four owners. I heard this story of somebody who was at a demo day with the tech world and somebody stood up and asked a question saying, “What advice would you give to a solopreneur?” Then I wouldn’t know what to do because so many solopreneurs fail. I couldn’t give you an advice because I’m only a partner. Where I’m trying to go with this is the biggest risk for me is I don’t want to fail with a partner. I feel that would be a terrible relationship if we failed. Do you have any thoughts on that relationship with two, three or four partners or whatever it is?
You’ve seen the inside stuff of mine like our letter of intent. It’s important that we all understand from the beginning what is expected. If we say, “Let’s do this,” and if we fail, that’s great. If I said, “Joel, I know somebody who needs what you have. If I introduce you, will you give me $1,000?” You’ll say, “Yes.” Then I connect you because I preface with that but if I connected you two and then a month later you said, “You should give me $1,000.” You’re like, “Now what?” It is front loading this like, “What is the agreement? What do I expect?” and getting that on the table. We have validation period. “These are the things we need to accomplish together in 90 days and if we don’t, that’s cool. Our skill sets don’t match.” If you have a salesperson that partners with a salesperson, if you have nobody to fulfill and nobody to market, nobody builds systems, nothing’s going to happen. Let’s make sure skills match. There’s a validation period. If any of our partners don’t validate, I’m not mad at anybody. I don’t think they’re mad. That is because all of those things were made clear at the beginning and the whole thing is strategic.
What do we look for? When you and I talked, we’re like, “Joel, you can write a copy. We can build systems. Can anybody sell the thing?” Look at what does this business need. It needs marketing. It needs sales. It needs fulfillment. What are the partners’ roles? Maybe you do have two salespeople that partner. They better have a plan to get some marketing and some fulfillment and that’s what’s missing. It’s like a lot of time, everybody has this great idea and they’re like, “We’re going to open this nutrition company. We’re going to help people.” They help their warm circle and then it’s all a disaster because everybody wants to do everything. There’s a bit of a hedge in the validation period and making crystal clear that in these 90-days, we need to be able to accomplish this together or it doesn’t make sense given the other opportunities we have. The opportunity cost is too great but that’s cool. You go do your thing and I would do mine. There are no hard feelings. Beyond that, I’m just not sure what can be done.
I was always very much against it in the beginning part of my career. I was against it because I would have some people who couldn’t afford my services. They would always try and pay for it in terms of this idea of partnership and I was put off by it. The best example that I can give is I would offer my $25,000 done-for-you webinar service. I’d get someone who would raise their hand like, “I’m totally interested,” then they backdoor me when we got the sales coming in. They’re like, “I don’t want to pay for it but what if you did it for me for free and in turn, you can promote my stuff and I’ll give you 50% commission?” I had a lot of sleazeballs to try and do that that it put me off so much on this idea of partnership. I’m starting to see a huge opportunity and potential with it the more and more I think about it. That was my experience in the past but I’m coming around.
My experience with it is the Shark Tank Syndrome. People are like, “No, Mark Cuban, I won’t give you 20%. You can only have 10%.” I don’t know what their priorities are but 80% of a billion gives you a lot better life than 90% of the $100,000 you’re going to make on your own. The reason that partnership works well for me and the people that I’m surrounded with is I don’t look at the loss. I’m not like, “I’m paying Joel Erway $100,000 a month.” I wouldn’t be able to afford that without you. It’s understanding that this is the question if you’re going into a partnership, “Is my life better with Dan or without Dan?” That’s the question I ask and not, “All that money could be going to me because there’s no guarantee it would exist without him.” If I’m talking to somebody, I implore you to ask, “50%, I could be giving away $1 million. is your life better with this person involved or not?”
You take money out of the equation. Is my quality of life better with or without?
You’re going to make more money with a good partner but ten years down the road, it’s hard to see that. You both or all three or all four parties are not getting entitled who did what and I think it matters. If you get over that, it opens a billion new doors for everybody that has a skill or a gift that could be so complimentary to somebody else.
When you look at the ability to spot and seize opportunities like me looking back on how I was able to accomplish what I’ve gotten up to this point in my life, it’s always been able to get into different networks, different circles. The reason why I’m studying venture-backed circles is that I want to learn how they think. They think way differently than we think as bootstrap startups. We have a different mindset that is highly valuable that people who only grow up in the venture-backed world can totally benefit from. The perfect entrepreneur is that person who can marry those two mindsets of venture-backed with partners and then how to bootstrap, sell and scale. Everything comes back down to the network. It comes down to how I can get more involved in different circles that are higher up than where I am now. I was in the ClickFunnels circle for a very long time. I used to think that that was the only world that existed. I was wrong. That’s just one tiny circle of many circles and many networks that exist.
We talked about networks, that’s a huge benefit of strategic partnerships. Partnering with somebody else in the ClickFunnels group associated with other stuff may not be the most strategic thing to do. One of the guys who I partnered with built a $400-million seafood business. It’s a whole different crowd of business and marketing legends but they’re brick and mortar legends. The insight is different. It’s incredibly valuable. That partnership put me into what I was doing with Steve Sims. We got invited to Elton John’s yearly gala thing. That’s going from the small pond into the entire ocean. That is extremely beneficial.
We hopped on and you broke down the importance of being scalable. The primary avatar that you work within the system which is your offer and that’s your company, that’s what you help build for your clients. You help them build systems that are infinitely scalable and remove the entrepreneur from the fire because that’s what we do. That’s all we want to do. We do it without knowing that what we do is we start all these fires. You build systems that make their business into infinitely scalable. That transitioned into this idea of partnerships of how you got to be involved with the system and how you met Dan.
You hired Dan or maybe partnered with Dan and he is like, “I see you’ve got a problem here with RD, your other company. Let me take a stab at trying to fix it so you can sell it.” You saw it immediately. You seized that opportunity. You saw a whole new opportunity and that led you to partner with each other. That whole idea of strategic partnerships is where we went with that conversation, which is a valuable and important conversation for people to understand. Partnerships can totally change your world. Nic, what did we leave out? Is there anything that we locked up that you wanted to cover? Any parting thoughts before we close up?
It’s more of a pivot. I want the market to pivot and understand that there are people who are doing $20,000 or $30,000 a month. I see because I’ve seen it over and over now and I know that I have to do a better job of educating people. Look at all that profit at the table. You’re going on a rough road. When you say in your head, “I want to work on my business, not in my business.” If you feel that way, do not invest in more marketing and sales because that’s what they do. I don’t know why. If you market and sell more, you’re going to work more in your business. It’s the systems. When you’re at $20,000 or $30,000 a month or even $10,000 or $15,000, more marketing and sales is not going improve your quality of life. It may give you the money to do other stuff.
When I go to events, what I talk to people is I want you to recognize the opportunity because you have no clue. I talked to people and they’re like, “There’s no way it’s possible,” and we lay it out and do it for them. There is so much opportunity and there comes a point where if you already know how to market and sell, that’s not where the opportunity is. If you’re like Joel, you can market and sell until the cows come home. That’s not where the opportunity is. Plant that seed because I got stoked out of my mind the first time I saw Dan do it the second time and third time. I want to let everybody know that there’s an opportunity there. It might mean making the same revenue, more profit and more free time. That’s also a new opportunity. That’s all I got.
People draw the true analogy of marketing and sales as an advertising in particular. This is where I hear this analogy the most. They’re like, “Once you build your marketing and sales system, then we dump more gasoline on the fire.” Gasolining, meaning advertising spend but the last thing you need is more gasoline when you’re just starting fires inside of your business.
They’re accurate. The fire grows.
The fire does grow and it burns. You’ve got to look through it with a different set of eyes. Where can people reach out to you? Where can they connect with you? Where can we find you?
This is usually for friends, but shoot me a message on Facebook. I like to have conversations with people. Alternatively, the Facebook business group is Business Profit Control and Freedom if you want to pop in there. Tag me and have a conversation. Joel and I talk a lot, so he can jump in and give insight too. I don’t have any interest in people going to a landing page and watching you selling stuff. I bias the conversation.
The best way to connect is to hop inside Experts Unleashed group and go find Nic Peterson. Nic, this has been a blast. It’s always very enlightening to have these intelligent business conversations. What we’re doing is we’re doing a simulcast version of Facebook Live inside of our Experts Unleashed groups. If you want to come in and join the conversation with our members, what you need to do is join the Experts Unleashed Facebook group and then you can participate in the live. We’ll see you in the next episode. Take care.
About Nic Peterson
Nic Peterson is the co-founder of Mastery Mode and is a master networker and relationship builder, specializing in creating and optimizing systems for businesses.
As the 6-week Director of Strategic Partnerships, he helps Business Owners, Consultants and Service Providers build the systems, operations and decision making parameters to leverage themselves to get more free time and make more profit in their business. In a few words, we scale trust and make it work for them. Mastery Mode provides “Done with you” systems and business optimization, 1-on-1 private and group coaching and written + video content that help Business owners discover how to find more joy in their work.
Nic and his partner, Dan, have personally optimized the systems, operations and financial framework of A-List Entrepreneurs in over 15 different industries.